The National Supercomputer Mission was launched in 2015 by the Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeitY) and Department of Science and Technology (DST) and implemented by the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru, and the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC), Pune. The Rs 4,500 Crore Mission has been launched in three phases, which would take the speed to compute to 45 PetaFlops.
What Is A Supercomputer?
A supercomputer is a high-level performance computer that operates at very high speed and is designed to undertake complex computational tasks much efficiently, as compared to conventional computers. The speed of supercomputers is measured in FLOPS (floating-point operations per second) rather than in (MIPS) Million instructions per second.
TeraFlop is a unit of computing speed that is equal to one million million (101²) floating-point operations per second (FLOPS).
PetaFlop is a computing speed unit that is equal to one thousand million million (1015) floating-point operations per second, which is a measure of computer performance, that requires floating-point calculations. In such cases, it is a more accurate measure than measuring instructions per second.
Supercomputers are used in many industries such as macro modeling, spacecraft aerodynamics, the detonation of Nuclear reactors, Climate and Weather tracking, Oil and Gas exploration. It gives endless opportunities in various fields of Science, Engineering, Bioinformatics, and many other expanding fields.
India is rapidly expanding its computer facilities as well as infrastructure in the country hence it launched the National Supercomputing Mission which was launched in three phases.
The first supercomputer was assembled indigenously and was installed in IIT BHU, called Param Shivay, which has 837 TeraFlop High-Performance Computing (HPC) capacity. The second supercomputer with 1.66 PetaFlop was installed at IIT-Kharagpur.
The mission is currently operating under Phase II, the speed of supercomputers in the country will soon reach around 16 PetaFlops, according to the Department of Science and Technology. The Phase II installations will be completed by April 2021.
These include IITs, NITs, National labs, and Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research (IISERs). Some of the supercomputers have already been installed while will be installed by the end of the year.
The Phase III of the National Supercomputing Mission is to kickstart in January 2021 with a goal to set up a total of 75 supercomputers in institutions across the country by the end of Phase 3 with a speed of 45 PetaFlops. The backbone of supercomputing is managed by NKN (National Knowledge Network). China has the most number of supercomputers around the world and maintains the top position in supercomputing, which is followed by the US, Japan, France, Germany, Netherlands, Ireland, and the United Kingdom.
The mission is going to bolster the supercomputing infrastructure in the country and will invite investment in the future in supercomputing for various developmental research, education as well as in related and interrelated fields. It will expand opportunities and innovation in sectors related to computing.
The initiative will boost and improve the computing infrastructure in the country and allow high-level computing facilities in institutes and National labs and provide research improvement and enhanced efficiency in data handling in many institutes across the country.
Under this mission, 2,400 faculties have been trained to operate the functioning of the supercomputers. The initiative envisages training as many as 20,000 next-generation computer experts in the next five years to handle the complexities of supercomputing. Furthermore, it improves the study and understanding of supercomputing and also serves as an important initiative for Make In India, Digital India, and Self Reliance.